Many of you may have heard of “Cure International,” an organization which brings hope and treatment for life saving conditions of under privileged children around the world. Recently their club foot division was given over to a whole new organization of its own called “Hope Walks.” This past Friday I had the privilege of being a volunteer for Hope Walks at the Uprise music festival in Shippensburg, PA. This annual event is well known to many church youth groups and to families who love contemporary Christian music. It was a win, win for me for I love talking to people about a good cause and I love contemporary Christian music. It was a great opportunity to introduce others to Hope Walks.
Hope Walks trains teams of Doctors and nurses in 16 countries to help parents of children born with club foot through a healing process by using a foot manipulation treatment that brings a crippled child to wellness. The treatment includes casting for several months soon after birth and takes about 4 or 5 years of wearing specially made braces that turn the feet outward to a normal position while the child is growing. Most of this time the braces are worn at night.
At Uprise we invited attendees to paint the leather used to make the shoe part of the brace. By hand painting simple designs on the soon to be braces we give encouragement to the children who must wear these for long periods of time.
Simple and varied are the numerous designs on these leathers. Also at our booth we gave out foot “tattoos,” stickers and information on how your group could have a paint the shoes party.
The best news is that after receiving treatment the child is able to walk, run, and play like others. Teaching and spiritual counseling go hand in hand with the treatment where the trainers develop long term relationships with families. For more information on “Hope Walks” check out their website at hopewalks.org. This process comes at a price of around 400 dollars for a treatment that takes years, but gives, what would have been a life long crippled child, hope for a normalized future.
It was our pleasure to be side by side to two other great organizations. We shared space with the popular Christian Radio station wordfm. We enjoyed getting to know their volunteers and those who stopped by were invited to pick up a wordfm sticker, hear about Hope Walks and paint while waiting in line to have a free photo taken. What a fun way to work together.
Props were included with a star studded backdrop.
Thrivent Financial was our other “booth” neighbor. Their volunteers were busy playing games that could win you one of their famous “Live Generously t-shirts, a rain pauncho, or a fan that plugs into your cell phone to keep you cool. How cool is that??
Many visited the Turkey Hill Ice Cream stand for free samples right in front of the very large Holstein cow.
Entertainment comes from the main stage with music artists such as Sanctus Real, Zach Williams and comedian John Crist. Last and what everyone was waiting for was the band Skillet. Chad Veach was the main speaker for the evening.
Church youth groups gather for lots of fun with friends and counselors. This one from Gettysburg First Baptist is perched on this amazing hill with a tarp for a carpet and a great view of all things happening.
Games and food abound in this happy crowd of lovely people. I had a great time sharing and caring. I hope many of you will care to share with “Hope Walks.” Learn more at hopewalks.org